Volume 95, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Small-scale livestock production plays an essential role as a source of income and nutrition for households in low- and middle-income countries, yet these practices can also increase risk of zoonotic infectious diseases, especially among young children. To mitigate this risk, there is a need to better understand how livestock producers perceive and manage risks of disease transmission. Twenty semistructured, in-depth interviews were conducted with small-scale livestock producers in a semirural parish of Quito, Ecuador. Interviews explored livestock-raising practices, including animal health-care practices and use of antimicrobials, family members' interactions with livestock and other animals, and perceptions of health risk associated with these practices and activities. Interviews were analyzed for common themes. Awareness of zoonotic disease transmission was widespread, yet few study participants considered raising livestock a significant health risk for themselves or their families. Several study households reported handling and consuming meat or poultry from sick or dead animals and using animal waste as a fertilizer on their crops. Households typically diagnosed and treated their sick animals, occasionally seeking treatment advice from employees of local animal feed stores where medications, including antimicrobials, are available over the counter. Despite a basic understanding of zoonotic disease risk, this study identified several factors, such as the handling and consumption of sick and dead animals and purchasing medications for sick animals over the counter, that potentially increase the risk of zoonotic disease transmission as well as the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance.


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  • Received : 15 Jun 2016
  • Accepted : 01 Sep 2016
  • Published online : 07 Dec 2016

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